Olomouc at the top

Three years, three excellent awards by the world’s prestigious guidebook. Lonely Planet made a list of the most beautiful, yet lesser known tourist destinations. It wasn’t the hot springs of Iceland, Gibraltar Rocks, Odysseus' Ithaca or Luxemburg that ranked in first place but the historical center of Olomouc!

The mini guidebook, Secret Europe, presents tourists with fifty cities from different parts of Europe. The largest, world-renowned guidebook publisher attracts tourists to Olomouc by saying that “in terms of tourism Olomouc can be equated to an authentic restaurant which is your own, small, personal secret. The Main Square is amongst the most enchanting in the country. It is surrounded by historical buildings. It is adorned by the Holy Trinity Column listed as the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Magnificent churches, many of which host an exciting history, are scattered in the streets of the historical center. Explore the foundations of the ancient Olomouc castle in the Archdiocese Museum which is a must-see and then set out to one of the many pubs or mini-breweries”. In 2012, the publisher also awarded Olomouc by ranking it in the top ten most beautiful hidden treasures in Europe. One year later it was once again on the list of the recommended destinations in Moravia. “It’s beautiful as well as surprising for us. Lonely Planet is to tourist guidebooks what Michelin is to gastronomy. I perceive it as a win in the tourist Olympics,” responded Olomouc mayor, Martin Major, when he first heard of the award. “I am very pleased that the professional editor-in-chief of this publication truly appreciates the beauty of our city, its picturesque atmosphere and its uniqueness.

Apart from other things, Olomouc captivated them by the fact that it offers the same architectural treasures as Prague but without the crowds of tourists. It is definitely Olomouc’s advantage in comparison with our capital. However, despite repeated acclaim from the renowned guidebook, it may only be temporary”, mentioned the mayor, Major, with a smile. The deputy mayor, Jan Holpuch added, “I believe that this is an opportunity to introduce our beautiful city to many other tourists.” “I think that being awarded as a hidden treasure or undiscovered city will give Olomouc an even stronger stamp of attractiveness and will evoke more interest in potential visitors.”

Olomouc has been trying to advertise its beauty in a high-quality and systematic way. In the past years, this attempt has proved effective. Statistically as well as simply looking into the streets of the city center confirms that the number of tourists to Olomouc has truly increased. Olomouc is on the list of destinations offered by travel agencies as for example, one-day trips from Prague or as a part of the Vienna – Krakow route. “Greater advertising in cooperation with the agency CzechTourism certainly helped.

This agency gives Olomouc more space than before”, says Karin Vykydalová, head of the tourism department. “Acclaim from Lonely Planet obviously helps. Ideally, a visitor comes here based on the recommendation, is satisfied here and then recommends Olomouc to his friends back home”, adds Dušan Gavenda of the same department. Lonely Planet Secret Europe can be downloaded for free at: www.lonelyplanet.com/secret-europe.

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Olomuc is ready for tourist season

16. června 2014 (po)

Olomuc is ready for tourist season

The city of Olomouc, as well as tens of other entities cooperating on the final outcome of the city offer, are entering into another tourist season. All age categories will certainly be pleased.

There has been growing interest in our city by both Czech and international tourists. “It is very important to attract attention of tourists who visit Olomouc for the first time and then further develop the city’s good reputation in the world of tourism.”, stated deputy mayor, Jan Holpuch.

The main topic discussed at the event, “Become a Tourist in Your Own Town for One Day” was news for the 2014 tourist season. Here, Olomouc citizens got the opportunity to try various interesting city offers for the month of May free of charge. For example, rafting trips organized by CK Peřej Tours. were fully booked. For the first time, this agency introduced a motorized raft apart from the un-motorized ones. These motorized rafts can primarily be used by seniors or disabled citizens. Members of the Olomouc Senior’s Club enjoyed a trip on these motorized rafts on Saturday. Other attractions included tourist train rides, four-wheeler rides, scooter rides, Nordic walking at the Holy Hill, a bike trip around Olomouc forts and Doors Open Days at Hotel Flora, Primavesi Gallery and Na Šantovce Theatre. Guided tours of the city including the new “House Signs Guided Tours” were also fully booked.

“According to the feedback of the organizers, a lot of interested visitors came and participated in Saturday’s program therefore we are very satisfied with the course of the event. We are also pleased that the citizens of Olomouc found the time and desire to try the new attractions awaiting the tourists. We would also like to follow up on this event next year.” Daniela Horňáková, head of the Department of Public Affairs and Information, said.

So, what does Olomouc newly offer in order to liven up this year’s season?

Do you know where you can find the house “U Zeleného věnce” / House by the Green Wreath, “U Bílé růže” / House by the White Rose or “U Zlaté štiky” / House by the Golden Pike? From May 17th, visitors can find out about this every first Saturday of the month within the guided audio tour guide at City Hall (In Czech, German and English). Tourists can visit three expos located directly in the historical building of City Hall at their own pace. The audio tour guide follows up on the already running older version of the audio tour guide of the city. This is especially extensively used by international visitors. “Apart from the audio tour guide, we have also prepared an updated version of the multi-media Olomouc tour guide called "OLINA“ , this summer season. This was prepared in cooperation with Palacky University and allows visitors to download it offline into their mobile devices by means of Wi-Fi”, says Jitka Lučanová, head of the Olomouc Information Centre.

Another attraction which the information centre has prepared apart from audio tour guides is the opening of a bicycle and luggage depository under City Hall. This depository is open to tourists as well as to Olomouc citizens, daily from May 31st – September 30th, 2014 from 9:00am – 6:00pm. The price is CZK 30 / 4 hours, luggage depository CZK 50.

Apart from this offer, Olomouc is issuing a re-publication of the Pilgrimage location, the Holy Hill, for the summer season as well as new material about Olomouc and Kroměříž attractions. This is being prepared in cooperation with the Archdiocese Museum of Olomouc and Kroměříž.

“The material should attract the tourist to the binding elements of both cities - UNESCO landmarks; lead one through the history and to the Spiritual Axis of Moravia. It allows a discounted entry where you can visit three places on one ticket – the Archbishop’s Palace, the Archdiocese Museum in Olomouc and the Archbishop’s Castle in Kroměříž”, says Karin Vykydalová, head of the Department of Tourism. The price of this ticket is around CZK 100.

Private tourist companies expand the city’s offer for this season. For example, scooter rides with a base at the Holy Hill, Nordic walking also along the Holy Hill landmarks, motor boat rides along the Morava River, (these rides are also intended for the disabled and seniors), guided tours of the organs at St. Wenceslas Cathedral, issuing a new cycle map of Olomouc forts and opening the new large climbing wall in Olomouc – Chválkovice.

Apart from these activities, Olomouc will once again cruise the tourist train during the summer period. Significant Olomouc churches will be open, including the Minor Basilica at the Holy Hill with a tour guide. Primavesi Gallery will once again be opened to visitors in the summer period. This gallery is located in a unique Art Nouveau style villa.

One of the main events of the summer tourist season will be the 2nd Annual Olomouc Baroque Festival. This festival follows up on last year’s success. “The first year clearly showed that Baroque is truly a big topic for Olomouc and that people are really interested in this type of festival. Therefore, we have decided to markedly expand the festival this year”, claimed deputy mayor, Jan Holpuch. Considering the large interest in this presentation, the event will take place for one month, from June 27th – July 20th. Visitors will again be able to listen to passages from Baroque operas in the atrium of the Jesuit Convict every evening from 7:30pm. Admission is CZK 150. The ticket also includes a 50% discount on entry into the Archdiocese Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Archbishop’s Palace. Take advantage of the discount until July 31st, 2014. Make a reservation at http://baroko.olomouc.eu or at the Olomouc Information Centre.